Owner/Operator of the Year Howard Brouwer got the judges’ attention because of his business skills, safe driving and charity work. But he may also be a lifesaver -we’ll never know for sure.
A few years ago he was driving along the 401 when he noticed a single-axle day cab with a loose wheel. Unable to get the driver’s attention on the CB radio, he called 911 and helped police locate the truck.
Brouwer drove on after seeing the truck pulled over by police. About three minutes later, he received a call from 911 dispatch.
“The police officer called to say that nine out of the 10 wheel nuts were missing and he took the last one off by hand,” Brouwer recalls. “It was a matter of just miles before that wheel would have come off and who knows what would’ve happened? That choked me up because, what would’ve happened if I hadn’t called?”
Another time, Brouwer came across a vehicle fire. The driver and his kid had escaped the burning mini-van, but as a former firefighter, Brouwer stopped to help extinguish the flames. The motorist told Brouwer his wallet was in the vehicle.
“I said ‘Where is it?’,” he remembers. “He said ‘It’s on the console in the middle.’ I took a deep breath and reached in there and got it.”
While he was at it, Brouwer managed to grab the driver’s paycheque.
“I’m always watching,” says Brouwer. “If a guy passes me and I see something on their truck, I’ll radio them ‘Your fuel cap’s off,’ stuff like that.”
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